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Andrea Diamond
A full-time college student in Minnesota who enjoys traveling via plane, train, or pages of a book.

Recent Posts:

A Twentieth Century Literary "It" Couple: Charles and Kathleen Norris

By Andrea Diamond. Jan 13, 2017. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Literature

The 1900s was a golden era for literature. Hemmingway, Cummings, and Fitzgerald are just a few of the household names that might have found themselves socializing at the same bar on any given weekend (geographical inconvenience aside). It was a time of artistic exploration and social transitions that would change the course of history and produce works that would be well-loved for years to come. While many of these 20th century writers are easily recalled by anyone who has graced a middle-school English classroom, there are others who softly faded out of memory. Though their names may not be as popular, their works are no less brilliant. Two such writers are husband and wife Kathleen Thompson Norris and Charles Gilman Norris.

     
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VLOG: The Art of Etching

By Andrea Diamond. Jan 7, 2017. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Illustrators

A picture is worth a thousand words, and it seems there are a thousand ways to make a picture. Pencil drawings, charcoal sketches, digital creations, are just a few ways illustrations come to life in our favorite books. One of the oldest methods of illustration is etching. Etching is a complex art in which images are engraved on a soft metal, then transferred to paper. It is a labor-intensive process, and printmakers take a great deal of pride in their work. Rather than reading a step-by-step account of the process, you can watch these three videos to learn from the masters themselves.

     
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Historical Accuracy of Little House on the Prairie

By Andrea Diamond. Dec 13, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, American Literature

"A long time ago, when all the grandfathers and grandmothers of today were little boys and little girls or very small babies, or perhaps not even born, Pa and Ma and Mary and Laura and Baby Carrie left their little house in the Big Woods of Wisconsin."

One of the most beloved opening lines in children’s literature comes from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s third book in the Little House series, Little House on the Prairie. It details the experience of a northern family’s migration in their covered wagon and working the land they eventually call home. From Wisconsin to Kansas to Minnesota, the Wilder family embodies the pioneer spirit carried by many in the late 1800s.

     
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Willa Cather and Pioneer Novels

By Andrea Diamond. Dec 7, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, American Literature

As a hardened millennial, I am well-versed in the first-world problems of modern life. I've been reduced to drinking lattés made with soy milk when my preferred dairy-substitute of almond milk is unavailable. I have made the arduous journey into the gas station when the pay at the pump feature is out of order. I’ve accidentally put clothes that are labeled “lay flat to dry” in the dryer and been left with a pile of sweaters that look like they belong to a Chihuahua. Faced with such difficulties in 2016, I am hard pressed to imagine what daily life must have been like on the frontier for early Americans. Other than the narrative provided from my American Girl Doll, Kirsten, and the first-hand experience of dying from dysentery while playing the board game “Oregon Trail,” I do not have much information on the pioneer life―but I love to learn. If you’re like me, a dry history book probably isn’t your favorite genre to curl up with at the end of the day. Instead, consider reading one of these seven pioneer novels by Willa Cather to get a glimpse of life before Netflix.

     
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What to Read on Election Day

By Andrea Diamond. Nov 8, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, Literature

Presidential election season; the high-stakes political race that comes around once every four years and determines the leader of the United States, the future of the American people, and the mood of our relatives at Thanksgiving dinner. When faced with such a big decision, it can often be helpful to first take a look into the past. As you head to the polls this November day, consider checking out one of these seven presidential books.

     
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Ten of the Best Quotes from Evelyn Waugh

By Andrea Diamond. Oct 28, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Literature

My sophomore year of college, I took an English class that delved into literature with central themes of faith, hope, and love. One of the first books we cracked open was Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited: The Sacred and Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder, a coming of age story that takes place in 1945 England. I had never read any of Waugh’s work before, but was immediately transfixed by his beautiful writing and unique perspective. The assigned reading was a rare breed of homeworkthe kind that gave me no desire to procrastinate, but rather left me struggling not to work ahead. I would forget about dinner, skip movies with friends, and hide in the comfort of my dorm room with beautiful words of Waugh. If you don’t don’t have any of his books at hand, here are ten of the best Evelyn Waugh quotes to get you started.

     
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Five Underrated Children's Books

By Andrea Diamond. Oct 12, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books

The bookshelves at my parents' house are filled to the brim. If you were to stop by, you would see fat books, thin books, paperbacks, and hard covers, every genre from historical fiction to poetry present and accounted for. They are lovely to look at and enjoyable to read, but I’ll let you in on a little secret…you won’t find any of our best books sitting in plain sight. If you really want a treat, direct your attention to the small cupboard in the corner. Behind it’s unassuming doors, you will find the books of our childhood. Paperbacks with torn pages and worn covers, but with the stories inside just as lively as they ever were. On behalf of the magic cupboard, here are five underrated children’s books that look forward to a visit.

     
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Seven of the Best Reads for Autumn

By Andrea Diamond. Sep 22, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Literature

Autumn: the glowing Midwest season of colorful leaves, fresh air, and crockpot dinners. Swimsuits are exchanged for sweatshirts, kindling is collected for the fire pit, and baristas across the country race outside to write “Pumpkin spice latte” on their sidewalk café menus in scrolling orange calligraphy. Should you find yourself with some quiet time between the football games and hayrides, consider settling in with one of these great Autumn reads.

 

     
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The Stories of American Immigrants

By Andrea Diamond. Aug 31, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, History

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" ~ The New Colossus

These words have greeted thousands upon thousands of immigrants throughout the course of history, immigrants who often brought no more than the clothes on their backs, a few suitcases, and a story waiting to be told.

     
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Seven Perfect Summer Reads by Nelson DeMille

By Andrea Diamond. Aug 23, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Literature, Mystery, Suspense & Crime

As summer slowly comes to an end, lazy afternoons feel stickier than usual. The air is still, the trees are quiet, and humidity hangs over the front porch like a blanket. On days like these, I find a box fan and a suspenseful novel help pick up the pace. For a quick and captivating read, consider one (or many!) of these seven Nelson DeMille novels.

     
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How can I identify a first edition? Where do I learn about caring for books? How should I start collecting? Hear from librarians about amazing collections, learn about historic bindings or printing techniques, get to know other collectors. Whether you are just starting or looking for expert advice, chances are, you'll find something of interest on blogis librorum.

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